Several hundred years ago, until we switched to a diet high in sugar and low in fiber, adult onset diabetes used to be very rare. It is now estimated that one third of adults will get adult onset diabetes. But this simple medical anthropology fact makes clear that diabetes is optional!
Herbal remedies and natural medicine are coming to the rescue though! Ten studies have shown that a remarkable new herb, called Hintonia latiflora (available in the U.S. as Sucontral D by EuroMedica and available at Emerson Ecologics) is remarkably effective. As are numerous other natural options (discussed below). More information on this can be found in my newest book Diabetes Is Optional.
What Is Diabetes
Though as health practitioners we are pretty familiar with diabetes’ mechanism, it helps to take a quick look at the basics again, using simple language that the people we treat can understand.
Our bodies make sugar as a fuel for our cell’s energy furnaces. For most of human history, we have had a high-fiber diet. This resulted in the carbohydrates and sugars in our diet being released very slowly and steadily into the bloodstream over many hours. Now, we have almost 140 pounds of sugar per person per year being added into our diet in food processing. This represents 18 percent of our calories, causing massive spikes in blood sugar. This forces our bodies to prevent sugar from entering the cells too quickly. This change is called “insulin resistance.”
Insulin is an important key that opens our cell furnaces so the sugar can get in to be burned for energy. When your cells become deaf to the insulin, the sugar builds up in your bloodstream instead. Meanwhile the sugar can’t get into the cell to be burned for fuel, so your cells are starving.
This causes your cells to send out the message that they are energy starved, so the body makes more sugar and more insulin. These high insulin levels then proceeded to turn the sugar into fat, causing people to pack on the pounds and become even more insulin resistant (thus the abdominal “spare tire”). The cycle continues until the body can no longer compensate and the blood sugar goes up. At that point, most physicians will usually offer the person whatever the newest, most profitable, and sadly often toxic medication the drug companies are marketing to them.
Why the Diabetes Epidemic?
Several factors are creating a perfect storm for diabetes developing. These include:
1. The combination of excessive sugar and white flour, along with low fiber in the Western diet
3. Inadequate vitamin D, largely from the misguided advice to avoid sunshine. Low vitamin D is associated with not only diabetes, but also markedly increased risk for autoimmune illness, pain, hypertension and other problems. I aim for 400 to 1,000 units a day. More is not necessarily better and, by being converted to calcitriol (1, 25 hydroxy vitamin D), may actually worsen immune function. When this happens, you may find yourself chasing low 25 hydroxy vitamin D level despite the person having excessive vitamin D.
4. Decreased exercise
5. Numerous chemicals in the environment which block testosterone in men and increase testosterone in women. Inadequate testosterone levels in men (in my humble opinion, anything under 500 ng/dl—research shows the “normal range” to be an absurdity) have been shown to cause metabolic syndrome, a combination of high blood pressure, high cholesterol and either diabetes or prediabetes.
In women, the opposite occurs. An elevated testosterone is often associated increased risk of diabetes, with polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS), acne, facial hair growth and even infertility. Because of this, although testosterone can be helpful in women as well as men, it is important not to over treat women as you can increase their risk of diabetes.
6. Magnesium deficiency is also associated with a significantly increased risk. More than half of the American diet’s magnesium is lost in food processing. I recommend a supplement (see below) with 150 to 200 mg of magnesium.
To screen for prediabetes, I will often check a fasting insulin level. Ignore the normal range. If the fasting insulin is over 10 uIU/ml, I take measures now for prevention. Also, I will do so if the glycosylated hemoglobin (HgBA1C) is more than 5.8 percent.
Diabetes Is Optional
In fact, this is the title of my newest book, now available on Amazon for the people you treat. Also, see the end of the article for how you can get a free copy. It is in very simple language which is easy for laypeople to understand. Begin with simple things that help optimize blood sugar levels. These include:
An Ounce of Prevention: Helping the Body Maintain Healthy Blood Sugar Regulation
1. Take a good multivitamin high in magnesium and vitamin D. My favorites are the Daily Energy Infusion vitamin powder or Clinical Essentials.
2. Cut back sugar intake. But let people indulge their sweet tooth occasionally. A happy fact? Chocolate in moderation is a health food. A small amount each day has been associated with a 45 percent lower risk of heart attack. Begin by having the person cut out sodas and fruit juices, both of which have ¾ tsp. of sugar per ounce. This translates to 36 spoons of sugar in that 48-oz. “Big Burp” soda. Have them enjoy the whole fruit instead. Meanwhile, look at the nutritional label, and divide grams of sugar by four to see how many teaspoons of sugar are in a serving.
3. Have people go for walks in the sunshine. Or find other exercise, preferably outside, that they love.
4. Lose weight. This will be easier once the person is the rest of the program and their insulin sensitivity improves. Research has shown that with adequate weight loss, diabetes actually goes away in 86 percent of diabetics.
5. Optimize testosterone levels in men. I will use bioidentical testosterone to bring the total testosterone up to about 900 ng/dl. In women, I would use the treatments discussed in this article, along with the medications metformin and Aldactone to lower elevated testosterone.
For childhood diabetes, which is a totally different autoimmune illness, insulin is a lifesaving and necessary treatment. For adult diabetics, it is a loan shark which initially lowers blood sugar. But because it causes often massive weight gain, it can worsen the diabetes in the long-term. So, it may be necessary short-term, but it is a horrible overall solution for type II diabetes.
In my 40 years as a physician, I have found that most diabetes medications turn out to cause more harm and deaths than benefit. There is one medication that is an exception. It is an excellent medication called metformin which is low cost and has withstood the test of time. It is highly effective, and well-tolerated. Its main toxicity is that it will sometimes cause nausea or diarrhea (lower the dose) and will routinely cause vitamin B12 deficiency unless the person is also taking a multivitamin.
Hintonia latiflora to the Rescue
Hintonia is an extract of the bark of a shrubby tree that grows in the Sonoran Desert. It has been used in folk medicine in Mexico and Central America to treat and even reverse high blood sugar, insulin resistance, type 2 diabetes and metabolic syndrome for over a century.
It’s been studied in detail for its ability to reverse high blood sugars for the past 60 years.
After a number of case reports showing efficacy, 10 more studies have been published looking at this herb’s effectiveness in treating diabetes.1-10 Research has shown that it was so effective that many patients with type 2 diabetes could reduce or eliminate their need for insulin, especially those needing 25 units a day or less.1 They were also routinely able to lower the dose or eliminate their oral hypoglycemic agents.2-10
Both animal and in vitro studies also confirm this effect while demonstrating multiple underlying mechanisms of action.11-13
To give an idea of its effectiveness, one Hintonia latiflora study2 followed 177 patients with prediabetes or mild type 2 diabetes for eight months. Patients consumed capsules that included hintonia as the primary ingredient. During the study, patients were evaluated every two months on various parameters of diabetes, including A1C, fasting glucose, and postprandial blood sugar, as well as common symptoms associated with diabetes, such as neuropathy. At the end of eight months, researchers noted the following significant improvements:
• HbA1C improved by a significant average of 10.4 percent (an ~ 1 percent drop in HbA1C)
• Fasting glucose improved an average of 23.3 percent
• Postprandial glucose decreased by an average of 24.9 percent
Improvements were also found in diabetic symptoms, as well as blood pressure, cholesterol and liver enzyme values.
Hintonia latiflora is an incredibly safe herbal medicine. Researchers followed up with study participants for almost three years, and there were no side effects or any problems taking it, even in combination with blood sugar control medications.
Mechanisms of Action
1. Hintonia inhibits glucosidases,12 slowing the breakdown and absorption of sugar in the gut. This delays the release of sugar into the bloodstream and keeps glucose levels low, instead of allowing them to spike, a main cause of excessive insulin release.
2. Coutareagenin, a polyphenol nutrient found in the bark extracts unique to hintonia, appears to be responsible for other blood-sugar controlling benefits of hintonia. This unique flavonoid has been shown to reduce insulin resistance and inflammation.13-14
One of hintonia’s greatest benefits is that it maintains steady blood glucose throughout the day and night, contributing to long-term improvements in glucose control. The president of the International Diabetes Foundation was the lead author on another study that strongly recommended the use of hintonia in treating and preventing type 2 diabetes, largely because of improved blood glucose control, but also because of its effectiveness in lowering cholesterol and triglycerides.
How to Use Hintonia
Hintonia should be standardized to contain 20 mg two to three times a day of polyphenols associated with coutareagenin.
Hintonia has only recently become available to the North American public in a product called Sucontral-D. Each capsule has the recommended 20 mg. No side effects or contraindications have been discovered in more than 60 years of research. Though best taken with meals for the glucosidase inhibition, it can be taken any time of day.
Meanwhile, also add berberine 200 to 500 mg three times a day. Use the lower dose if it upsets the person stomach.
So the bottom line? Diabetes is optional!
For a free copy of my “Diabetes Is Optional” book, simply request one from firstname.lastname@example.org or call (866) 842-7256.
1 Kuhr R. Orale diabetestherapie mit einem Eupharbiazeenextrakt. Landarzt. 1953;29(23):542-549.
2 Schmidt M, Hladikova M. Hintonia concentrate – for the dietary treatment of increased blood sugar values: Results of a multicentric, prospective, non-interventional study with a defined dry concentrate of Hintonia latiflora. Naturheilpraxis mit Naturmedizin. February 2014.
3 Korecova M, Hladikova M. Treatment of mild and moderate type-2 diabetes: open prospective trial with Hintonia latiflora extract. European Journal of Medical Research. 2014;19(1):16.
4 Korecova M, Hladicova M, Korec R. Hintonia latiflora bei Typ-2-Diabetes. Zeitschrift für Phytotherapie. 2006;27:272-278.
5 Machens R. Therapieversuch mit Copalchi-Rinde bei pathologischer Glucosetoleranz. Erfahrungsheilkunde. 1996;45(9):605-608.
6 Pellegrini A. Klinisches Gutachten über das Hintonia latiflora Produkt. Sonderdruck Fa. Sippel, Konstanz. 1951:1-7.
7 Schmid P. Bericht über die Behandlung mit dem peroralen Antidiabetikum Hintonia latiflora. Sonderdruck Fa. Sippel, Konstanz. 1951: 1-4.
8 Vida F. Erfahrungsbericht mit dem peroralen Antidiabetikum Hintonia latiflora. Med Welt. 1951;20:1623-1624.
9 Ritzmann H. Beitrag zur DiabetesBehandlung. Hippokrates. 1950;21(6):161-168.
10 Cristians S, Guerro-Analco JA et al. Hypoglycemic activity of extracts and compounds from the leaves of Hintonia standleyana and H. Latiflora: potential alternatives to the use of stem bark of these species. Journal of Natural Products, 2009 Mr 27:72(3);4-08-13.
11 Vierling, C, Baumgartner CM et al. The vasodilating effect of a Hintonia latiflora extract with anti-diabetic action. Phytomedicine 2014 Oct 12:21(12):1582-6.
12 Mata R, Cristians S et al. Mexican antidiabetic herbs: valuable sources of inhibitors of a-glucosidases.
13 Korec R, Heniz Sensch K et al. Effects of the neoflavonoid coutareagenin, one of the antidiabetic active substances of Hintonia latiflora, on streptozotocin-indicted diabetes mellitus in rats. Arzneimittelforschung. 2000 Feb;50(2):122-8.
14 Chen J, Mangelinckx S, Adams A, Wang ZT, Li WL, De Kimpe N. Natural flavonoids as potential herbal medication for the treatment of diabetes mellitus and its complications. Nat Prod Commun. 2015 Jan;10(1):187-200.
Jacob Teitelbaum, MD specializes in treating fibromyalgia and chronic pain. He is the author of Pain Free 1-2-3, From Fatigued to Fantastic!, and the free Cures A-Z phone app. To get the NSAID death calculations noted above, or the free fibromyalgia treatment tools, feel free to email him and request these at FatigueDoc@gmail.com.